Tuesday 4 August 2020

Summer news

At this time of year a lot of attention is given to the three main reed bed species breeding on the Teifi Marshes; Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Reed Buntings.

Looking at data so far this breeding season (from 1st April) it appears that generally numbers are looking good despite the late start due to Covid 19 restrictions.

Reed Warblers --   31 RAS adult re-encounters. This compares well with RAS birds last year which were 35 by this date. Oldest was ringed in July 2014.  38 new adults ringed. Juvs increasing with 62 so far. This is slightly up on the same dates last year when 40 new adults and 41 juveniles had been ringed.

Reed Buntings --   22 RAS adult re-encounters , compared to 28 last year. 38 new adults and 23 juveniles compare with 12 new adults and 44 juveniles last year.

Sedge Warblers -- Though not one of our  RAS study species but 14 birds have been re-encountered that were ringed in previous years. Oldest was ringed in August 2015

As mentioned in the last blog it been a good month for Kingfishers being easy to see on the Teifi Marsh with a maximum of 6 at one time on Kingfisher pond. 10 have been ringed.
Many excellent photos have been shared on the Welsh Wildlife Centres Facebook page. Worth a look at this selection by Tommy Evans
Teifi Marsh Kingfishers 
And this by one of our trainees Toni Henwood, whose photography skills are already being put to good use with colour ring sightings!

A quick look at Willow Warblers recorded this season so far -  Teifi Marsh and Blaenduad 36 new.  Not a direct comparison but last year by this time 299 had been ringed. The biggest change is due to the loss of habitat in good net locations following the widespread fire at Blaenduad. One Willow Warbler caught at Mallard pond in June had been ringed there the previous May.

Our House Sparrow total has shown a big increase in previous years due mainly to increased garden ringing during lockdown and the start of a possible RAS study which may use colour rings. Last year 87 new, 25 adults and 31 juveniles. This year 513 new, 155 adults, 334 juveniles and the rest pulli in nest boxes.

We were unable to ring  Storm Petrels at Mwnt in June this year as it was closed but we managed a couple of very quiet visits in July. A Stormie night is always special even if not many Petrels especially with the added interest of Comet Neowise this year and Manx Shearwaters calling overhead.

Comet Neowise over Mwnt  (Dyfed James)

A recovery recently received from the BTO involved the same bird which shows typical movements of a non breeding bird around the Irish Sea.

Storm Petrel  2674680
Ringed by us at Mwnt, Ceredigion 17/07/2017
Subsequently encountered on the Llyn Peninsula, Wooltack Point by Pembs Ringing Group then just 11 days later on Bardsey Island

Porth Iago, Gwynedd     06/08/2018 385 days, 78km N
Wooltack Point, Pembs 11/07/2020 1090 days, 62km SW
Bardsey Island                19/07/2020 1098 days 72km N

Another recovery received this week was a Goldfinch ABE2665
Ringed Boncath, Pembrokeshire 10/07/2019
Found dead after hitting a window 13/03/2020 in Saubusse,Landes, France
247 days 165 deg SSE

Goldfinch movements are very variable but this one could be an example of the population that breed here and spend winter in the warm further south.

As usual for late July and into August, Hirundine numbers are increasing coming to roost in the Teifi Marsh at dusk. We have had a few sessions ringing mainly Swallows but also some Sand Martins, Pied Wagtails and a House Martin, only the 8th ringed by the group.

Juvenile Pied Wagtail

More sunset evenings like this to enjoy at Mallard Pond over the coming weeks of migration monitoring.

(Wendy J and Rich D)

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